By David Gold

Sochi volunteers_June_26June 29 - Sochi 2014 is beginning the process of inviting Winter Olympic and Paralympics volunteer candidates to interviews.

Approximately 85,000 have submitted applications for the 25,000 available places.

Only those who have passed online tests are now being invited to interviews.

Interview requests will be made via e-mail, and will take place either face-to-face or using Skype.

Candidates will need to demonstrate their efficiency, ability to cope under pressure, commitment to the Games and language skills, with English being particularly important.

English and French are the two official languages of the Olympic Movement, but few people in the Black Sea resort speak either.

The 25,000 volunteer army will work in more than 20 areas, including meeting and greeting delegates and organising the Closing Ceremony.

Volunteer hopefuls_Sochi_2014_June_28
Three thousand of the volunteers will help visitors travel around the city and ensure a friendly welcome.

Volunteers will also take pressure of the workforce for the Games, recruitment for which is another vital task for Sochi 2014 in the next year and a half.

They need to bring in 150,000 people from outside the city, more than a quarter of its current population, to meet their needs.

In total, volunteers will comprise 30 per cent of the total number of Games staff.

Volunteers selected from the interview process will be trained before taking up their roles.

Though the interview process has begun, Sochi 2014 are still encouraging those interested to apply online.

Applicants are being asked why they have applied, and questions are being asked in English to test language skills.

Anyone is eligible between the age of 18 and 80 as of January 6, 2014.

Applications so far have come from as far away as Canada, Ghana and the Dominican Republic.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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